Everybody worries about race strategy, and no one more than the first-timer. I suspect for most runners that first 5k is more nerve-wracking than a first marathon. This makes sense, too, because anyone who has trained enough for a marathon knows that things that once seemed impossible, eventually, with proper training, become doable, even dare a I say old hat? That comes with time, though. Marathoners build up a history of races that, taken together, give the runner a sense of security that a new runner cannot possibly possess.
In this podcast episode, I look at how to prepare in the days leading up to the race and the day before the race. Then I discuss the logical strategies for the first-time racer, and in particular, I break it down into two situations: the person who is a true beginner, who is still unable to run a whole 5k, but who still wants to get out there and experience a race, and the person who’s a good bit farther along and already able to run the whole thing. The race strategies for these two are different, but many of the strategies I mention are appropriate for all runners, even veterans because some things never change.
Having a race strategy, I hope, will add to your comfort level and reduce stress on race day, and in that way help to ensure a great experience.